(Not) the same story everywhere: Climate change as a topic for cross-border journalism

Published on Oct 12, 2023

In September 2023, Angelina Davydova, climate project coordinator, and Iryna Ponedelnik, climate project manager for “online journalism in depth” invited the participants of the M100 Young European Journalist Workshop in Potsdam to develop their own cross-border publication projects.

Climate journalism is cross-border by nature. That is why it is important if you are a climate journalist to know how to start and run a cross-border project. Angelina and Iryna shared their insights on how to get funding for these projects. In different group sessions, the young journalists developed ideas for possible transnational projects. The following ideas were presented and discussed:

  • Illegal waste shipment
  • Food industry
  • Ghost fishing
  • Long-term environmental impact of the war in Ukraine on the Black Sea
  • EU natural gas imports from Azerbaijan

All ideas involved more than two countries and the trainers were able to give valuable advice after the presentation of the projects. Below is a guide of questions to help you get started with a cross-border journalism project:

  1. What exactly is the topic? Why does it have to be transnational? Why are these specific countries involved?
  2. What’s the novelty factor? Why do you want to do it now? What’s your initial hypothesis?
  3. Who is in your team? Representation of diversity/various skills
  4. Timetable/schedule of activities (better be realistic). Always allow more time than you think. Allow for translation/editing/further editing in other languages etc.
  5. Research what has already been written/done on the topic/region. How does your project relate to similar projects, why is it a development?
  6. Show that preliminary research has been done.
  7. Budget: realistic, but also according to funding rules/daily rates etc. unfortunately many foundations expect different fees/payment/daily rates/compensation for travel/food etc. different countries.
  8. Who are your preliminary media partners? Better a wide range in many countries and languages.
  9. Why is your project great and why do you love it?
  10. Structure, rationale, logic

Presentation is available here.

M100 Young European Journalist Workshop is a four day programme where 20 young journalists from 14 different European countries had the chance to learn and discuss climate reporting and its role for democracy. A wide variety of aspects of climate reporting were discussed with various experts from the field.

Angelina Davydova give introduction presentation